At one of the most important junctures for Europe and the West since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, May's government is reeling from a crisis of her own making - the loss of her parliamentary majority in a June 8 snap election she did not need to call.
- October 19 - Mr Barnier is set to report back to the EU27 on whether sufficient progress has been made to move on to phase two of the talks, covering the UK's future trade relationship with the remaining EU.
"If there is the expected positive outcome, it will be at least the start of next week before anything is signed off", a DUP source said. But there is also incredulity that the British government is preparing to go into the talks with a hard-line negotiating position when it can not command a majority at home.
"Now, the hard work begins", Davis said, adding he wanted a deal that worked for both sides. "We will have to do a technical analysis when we see it, [asking] what are the shortcomings. There is no mandate to change our position".
"We have come together to urge the government to put the economy first as it prepares to start formal negotiations", says the letter to Mr Clark.
Asked whether Mr Davis had shifted his position, a British official referred to a statement released by Mr Davis's ministry on Friday which repeated calls for the withdrawal terms and future relationship to be "agreed alongside each other".
David Davis arrives in Downing Street.
After the general election fiasco, May hopes to secure the backing of the ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party, which would add the DUP's 10 seats to the Conservatives' 317 in the 650-member House of Commons.
European Union officials played down the importance of Britain's lack of a clear final plan, saying that talks on other issues can go ahead without deciding yet on a new relationship. "It's not clear that they will be allowed to stay", Peterson said. I think they are ready with it, but whether they are politically ready to do it I don't know.
When Britain leaves the European Union, the Irish border will become the EU's only land frontier with the UK. So far, that is not what we are seeing. Leaving the EU - the biggest blow since World War Two to European efforts at forging unity - is now the official consensus of both the Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party.
The EU believes that there is a distinct lack of clarity now on what the United Kingdom really is seeking out of the negotiations, three months after the letter triggering article 50 was delivered to the European council president, Donald Tusk.
What is more, given the complexity and complication of the Brexit talks, May's lack of authority after the damaging election, and having already needlessly wasted about one-eighth of the precious time available for the talks on the unnecessary election, it is now even more hard, if not impossible, for her to reach an acceptable soft Brexit deal with the European Union and get it approved (by Britain's Parliament and possibly its voters) before March 2019.
If no trade deal has been reached by this point, UK-EU relations could be governed by a "transitional arrangement" for some months or years.